More Moral than they are Intelligent


More Moral than they are Intelligent

I know, I know — I said I wasn’t going to let my politics creep into Parking Today. But that’s why I started the BLog — So I could comment from time to time, but you can also disagree immediately and respond if you like. So here we go and have at it.

I was
having a discussion the other day with a person from Boston. I great care not to bring up
politics in some social situations,but in this case I made the observation that if one lives within 50
miles of the coast their moral viewpoint was different than those that lived in
the rest of the country. I used an example that I had told a story about the
morality of parking.

 If you need
a quart of milk and were at a convenience store and there was no clerk present,
you wouldn’t steal the quart of milk. However if you were at the exit lane of a
garage and no one was there, most would just hit the gas and never feel a whit
of conscience although morally the two acts were indistinguishable.

I would tell this story in New York, or  DC or Miami or  San Franciscoor Seattle and get knowing smiles but when I
told it in Kansas City or St Louis or Denver or yes, Salt Lake City, I got puzzled
looks from my listeners. They would do
the same at the parking garage as the convenience store – wait, or leave the
money. It simply didn’t occur to them to hit the gas and steal the money.

 Of course I
am painting with a very wide brush, but on balance I would think that the
observation is relatively accurate.

My Boston Friendthen opined
that my comment proved her feeling that no one who lived further than 50 miles
from the ocean should be allowed to vote for President. After all, look at what happened in 2004. “Those
people”, she said, “are more moral than they are intelligent.”

 I was
actually speechless, which is a new concept for me. I  had
an intelligent person, and this person was intelligent, relate that intelligence,
however one defines it, was more important than morality.

This person, I’m certain, didn’t realise just how arragont and condecending she sounded. We should give an IQ test and if you don’t score high enough, you can’t vote. Of course, I understand that I was doing a similar thing with my parking story, but at least I had some experience to back it up. And she agreed — folks living in "flyover country’ are more moral than those living on the coasts.  But she seemed to have no problem with the concept.


 I am
certainly no paragon of virtue and have had my moments with morality. But I
certainly know what is moral and what isn’t. As for my intelligence, I absolutely know that there are many folks
running around that have more brainpower. However, I have never questioned the
fact that if I had to choose between the two, I would chose morality over
intelligence. Wouldn’t everyone?

 I guess


PS for those of you who don’t know, I live 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean and most likely would drive out of a garage, in a heartbeat, that was so improperly run that they couldn’t figure out how to collect the money.  But I would also know that it was not the right thing to do.

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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